Saturday, 10 February 2018

The First Date in Three Years

Hi, guys! It's been a month since I decided to blog less regularly and, man, it feels like it's been forever since we last had a sort of chat/life update on this blog. How are you? January wasn't wonderful for me—it felt like it went on and on and on—but something quite life-changing and tremendous happened towards the end of it. If you follow me on instagram, you might already know: Firu has finally come home! Not for good, mind you, but long enough for us to enjoy each other's company multiple times. And yesterday we finally went out on a date! This is huge for me, as we haven't gone on one in over 3 years—and I thought we wouldn't see each other for at least another couple years. It was a much needed time alone together, talking about stuff we weren't able to on video calls—of a serious nature that makes me feel like we're even closer with each other now. And it wouldn't be our date without me pestering Firu to help me take photos for the blog, but now I'm better at being less neurotic about it. So yaay! We tried out this King Mango dessert from Thailand—which is massive—and it's really delicious. We got two loopy straws and did the cliché couple sip. Cringe, I know :')

Ask by Asky dress (old) // gifted batik bolero // thrifted loafers // photos by Firu

Let me talk a little bit about how big a difference my decision last month has on my life—well, my online life, anyway. First of all, the one huge thing that triggered that verdict is actually Firu's aversion towards, well, putting his face on social media. This isn't news to me, to be honest, as he has expressed his take on it various times since I started blogging, but I wanted to believe that he was just being sheepish about it or will change his mind eventually. That obviously didn't happen. So, deciding to finally respect his wishes, I will only ever post Firu's face (or any parts of his body and belongings) with his full consent—which is why you don't see his face on this post, which may seem out of the ordinary. And on instagram only very, very rarely. That in itself, I feel, has improved my relationship with Firu by leagues. We may have been going out for such a long time, but we can still learn things about each other and being together. Trust is very important and I'm determined to show that he can leave his with me.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Mix It Up a Notch: Book of Deer Shirt

For the longest time, I've been a huge admirer and fangirl of Book of Deer. When they released the Country Kitchen collection in 2015, I was instantly smitten. Unfortunately, at the time, the price was way more than what I could afford, so I was content with admiring from afar. Around a year afterwards, though, some leftovers from the collection were reduced more than half the original price and I found myself checking out of their online store. This is the piece that I picked—which was perfect because I've been eyeing it from the start anyway. For the longest part, I believe that it would be the only piece from them that I'd buy...except when it arrived, it came with a great surprise in the shape of a quirky maroon skirt—also pictured above. To be honest, I absolutely love this top! It's so adorable, so whimsical and incredibly comfortable. It unfortunately doesn't fit me well at the moment, but for the most part it's been rather a great piece of clothing. The collar, in particular, is my favourite. I'd love to wear it with more pants in the future.

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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

5 Documentaries to Start Your Year Well

I don't know about you, but January is usually the month when I'm very determined to change my life. Let's just say motivation runs high. It's the perfect time to take in as many inspirational sources as possible—and I do tend to do that. This is the month I get the most job done and finish the most research. So it is crucial—heck, even critical—that I make the most of it. If you're like me too—or want to be so, I have a few recommendations of light but profound documentaries you can watch to widen your horizon and get you going for the rest of the year. Or, well, at least all through to July. These are not necessarily my absolute favourite documentaries on each topic, but they are a great introductions for newbies and a good way to kickstart your knowledge on the subject matter. Also, don't worry, they're all in English.

Where to Invade Next

Let's start with something profound, yet quite hilarious. This documentary by Michael Moore is really eye-opening. It teaches me a lot of things about other countries and, I think, if you're a US citizen, you could benefit a lot from this. It follows Michael Moore's journey himself, going from one country to another to find values and practices that he can "steal" to take back to the US. It opens his eyes to a lot of things his country is lacking—and, funnily enough, so is mine. Although it really brushes on a lot of profound and, possibly, sensitive topics, Moore manages to edit and narrate through everything to make them a bit more comedic and lighter to watch. My favourite part is when he and the crew went to Germany and Tunisia—both national values should really be applied to Indonesia, I believe. Very inspiring and entertaining!

The Next Black

As far as ethical fashion goes, I really cannot recommend anything better than The True Cost, but I do find that is incredibly jarring and overwhelming—I myself had to watch it twice to be able to take everything in. It's probably a bit intimidating to kickstart your knowledge. Alternatively, I would suggest you watch The Next Black, which is a documentary by AEG on the future of (ethical) fashion—and it's available for free! It is presented in such a lighthearted way, that it becomes a great way to learn about fashion and the environment, without having to suffer through the horrifying—albeit inescapable—parts of it. This documentary really opens up to so many possibilities, from the dry-dyeing—which sounds insane but highly innovative—to microfarming. It would leave you in awe to know that the alternative isn't actually that far away from us.

The Red Pill

Okay, I'll admit, this one is very heavy. But I just have to put this here, because I can't find any other documentaries discussing the same subject matter. You might know this from a post I wrote about it several months ago. It is the story of Cassie Jaye's journey in digging into the Mens' Rights Movement from the activists themselves. Cassie, who started the journey as a feminist, is willing to open her mind to ideas from both MRAs and feminists on the same topic. Truth be told, I find that the Mens' Rights Activists have a lot of valid points that I've never even thought of before. Their stories and experiences actually brought me close to tears. This documentary is also very controversial—having been banned in several countries, including Australia—so a lot of people have prejudices against it. I would suggest you watch it; you don't have to like it or agree with it, but you need to understand it.

Girl's Life

On the flipside, let me offer a truce through this six-part documentary series from Wall Street Journal—each of only less than 5 minutes—following a young girl's life from various countries and cultures. I know, there are probably far greater feminism documentaries out there, but I feel like this one is a very light yet profound—notice a running theme here?—piece on the subject. The girls are all around 15-16 years of age, with various economical and cultural backgrounds. I find it fascinating to see their insights on what it means to be a girl-turning-woman today to each of them, with their various aspirations and dreams. It also lets you take a peek into the life of people from different countries—and continents. It's a good introductory piece, in my opinion, into the world of feminism—especially in terms of education. Hopefully it will lead you to find more reading and watching materials on the topic.

Before the Flood

You've probably heard of this one already, since it's Leonardo Dicaprio's collaboration with National Geographic. Before the Flood is probably the second heaviest documentary mentioned on this list. It follows Leo's journey on finding out how far climate change has affected the world—including Indonesia. It made quite a headline when he came to Sumatra to see the forest fire and orangutans and got deported by our government, without so much as an excuse to why he was kicked out. Personally, I don't think this is one of those films, where the star sits on his high horse, telling everyone else to change. Politics is mentioned as playing a huge role in fighting climate change—and also why people refuse to believe in their existence. It's a good conversation starter, like peeling off the covers of oblivion you might not know existed before, to reveal the scary melted ice caps underneath. If only just a little bit.

If you have any other documentary recommendations, let me know!

Also, another great way to start your year is by reading books. Check out the video down below to see the five books I'd recommend you start with!

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Shifting Focus

This is my fourth attempt on writing this post, which hopefully will tell you how seriously I feel about the content. For weeks I've struggled to organise my thoughts and feelings on this matter, that everything I write seems wrong. I've been trying to just come up with introductions to what I'm trying to say, when I should really have just come out with it. So here it is: I am quitting blogging. It sounds quite dramatic, doesn't it? I guess it kind of is. It's been something I've struggled with in the past 6 years—on and off have I thought about making this decision—but now I've made up my mind. It seemed like such a huge deal a few weeks ago, but now it feels only natural.

Recently, I just realised that I've been spending more time on the blog than I should. I know deep inside that it's not a job, but I keep making excuses to invest more energy and thought into it. However, for all the things I've gained from it, the resources that I've had to spend on it are just far too much. Amidst other parts of my schedule that I'm juggling, it's been costing me a lot of sleep or time to actually explore my professional field and take on more work experience. It's tested a lot of my relationships with friends and family. But, most of all, it hurts to know that no one cares anyway. When I shared these thoughts on this very space, nobody gives me any kind of response. That's when I realise I've been joking myself—it doesn't matter what I do with this space.

Another reason, I suppose, for making this decision is the fact that most of my online friends have reduced their frequency of blogging or ceased to do it altogether. It made me feel less connected to this world and to them, really. I started to question the point of my blogging, especially since most of my closest IRL friends also very rarely go to social media—or blogs, for that matter. This whole time I blogged on schedule, on the premise that someone somewhere might be waiting for my blog contents on the appointed time. But I have to accept that it's never been true. 

That being said, I'm not going to stop blogging altogether, but I will not keep to my usual schedules or usual contents. It will be less structured, more sporadic and chilled. I'd still love to share some information on ethical fashion or zero waste lifestyle—although I'm no expert. Book reviews are most likely to appear on the blog more often in the future. And then, well, who knows? Thank you for dropping by from time to time, I greatly appreciate it! See you when I see you.

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Friday, 5 January 2018

With a Little Help from My (Ex-Pat) Friends

 Melly's Garden

The day after Christmas—one that, in English-speaking countries, is called Boxing Day—my Germany pals and I went out for lunch, because one of our own came home for a visit. Unlike usual, where we come up with various plans to have fun, this time—due to the tightness of finances—we decided to find a rather cheap but comfortable place at the heart of Jakarta to converse for as long as we like and catch up on various topics. It was a much-needed quality time, really, with the year ending and all I want to do is reflect and wind down. We came to yet another new restaurant that none of us has ever tried before—I found it online—located in the Menteng area. The place has a rather nice indoor and outdoor area, with a plethora of ornaments and decorations of old. It's also rather quiet and chilled, which was just exactly what we were looking for. We ended up hanging out there for five hours, chatting and laughing and causing a racket. It was hella fun! 

Book of Deer shirt // old varsity jacket + hat + shoes // hand-me-down pants + purse // photos by Edwin

These photos were taken after we had a really great time of catching up, laughing at each other and exchanging opinions on various topics—basically, when we're almost out the door, really. My friend Edwin has always been a photography-enthusiast and he's always been the one responsible for taking most of our pictures when we go on trips together. Needless to say, at occasions such as this, when we get to hang out once or twice a year, he's the one I go to for outfit photos. Thankfully, he never says no—although I'm not sure if it's not out of reluctance. On top of that, Ratri helped too, directing me on how to pose for certain photos, and Wilson didn't utter a word of complaint. They've known me since before the whole blogging thing—and being mostly out of the picture on it—yet never jeered at me, when I ask for help. I'm always grateful for friends like this. Thanks, guys, you all rock!

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